Traditionalists, prepare to be shocked - the Rolls-Royce 103EX Vision Next 100 Concept could be your car of the future. The very far-reaching future, that is.
Described by Rolls-Royce as an “aesthetically dynamic vision of the future of luxury mobility” the 103EX has been revealed as part of the BMW Group’s Next 100 celebrations, celebrating that company’s centenary by looking into the future.
Designed in consultation with existing Rolls-Royce owners, the 103EX Vision Next 100 rejects the notion of bland future mobility, and attempts to recast luxury for the next 100 years.
Worryingly, the 103EX arrives just ahead of the all new Phantom, which Rolls-Royce is preparing to launch soon - but thankfully that car won’t derive any of its cues from the outrageous 103EX.
The concept is designed to represent a return to Rolls-Royce’s coachbuilt past, where Rolls would provide the chassis, and customers would specify their own bodywork via coachbuilding firms around the world.
For the next 100 years Rolls-Royce will provide a zero emissions chassis as a starting point, with customers involved in the design process and able to tailor their car’s bodywork to suit their individual needs - this time though the bodywork is envisioned to be built in house by Rolls-Royce.
In the case of the 103EX that bodywork takes on a dramatic coupe style, with an extensive glasshouse, two-piece doors, and enclosed wheel wells that offer a glimpse of the 28-inch bespoke aluminium wheels underneath.
Up front the iconic Parthenon grille has been given its most extensive rework in Rolls-Royce history, with the upper bar stretched out to meet the outer corners of the car, forming an eyebrow above the laser headlamps, before running along the vehicle sides to create a dividing line for the two-tone exterior.
The grille itself takes on the tall and narrow look of early Royces, while atop the bonnet, the Spirit of Ecstasy rides proud, as she has always done, but from there the traditional features end and bold new look, combining modern aerodynamics influenced by the form of 1920s Rolls-Royces, takes over.
The traditionally upright Rolls-Royce form has been massaged to resembled a boat hull, giving the impression from the rear that the vehicle is floating. The undefined zero emissions powertrain also frees up space in the bodywork, allowing luggage to be carrried in a compart aft of the front wheels.
Inside the future of luxury presents itself via an expansive OLED screen which takes the place of traditional controls, occupants cosy up on a sofa-like bench seat trimmed in a blended silk and wool fabric, and are surrounded by Macassar wood panelling.
The plebeian duty of driving is handled by Elanor, the 103EX’s own electronic personal assistant, which passengers can entrust pilot the vehicle, open and close the doors, and make suggestions as to where to dine, or which landmarks to visit.